10 ways to improve Business Continuity Plan Exercise, Audit, and Maintenance – tip 10 maintenance plan

Your organization has now invested valuable time and money developing business continuity plans. As a professional business continuity planner, you know that the next steps – exercising, auditing and maintaining the business continuity plans – are all important to successful resilience in the event of a disaster. In this article, I will provide 10 tips to advance your business continuity plan exercise, audit and maintenance program.

MAINTENANCE PLAN

If a proper maintenance plan is not in place, your plans could become outdated quickly.

Tip #10 Arrange to review and update the plan just prior to audits and annual exercises

If the results of the exercise and audit are given the appropriate attention by the organization, those involved in the plan will be motivated to prepare for these events by updating business process information.

If you schedule one minor exercise per business section, an annual major exercise and an annual audit, it translates into three major updates of the plan per year. Add in some method of determining turnover in key business continuity roles and your plan will continue to be relevant year after year. One simple suggestion is a monthly business continuity plan e-mail newsletter sent to everyone named in the plans. When an e-mail bounces back, you should follow-up with your other contacts in the unit for a staffing update.  When other colleagues find themselves in a new role, they will often contact you to redirect the newsletter.

Also try to work with your organization’s Project Management Office and other change managers to play an advisory role in meeting the organization’s business continuity standards before new projects “go live”. The upfront time investment is much less when compared to working on plans and strategies after the project is operational.

Following these ten manageable tips will have a constructive impact on your business continuity plan exercise, audit and maintenance programs. Please speak with us for further information on any of these ideas.

(For more information on DRI’s professional practices please read Professional Practice Eight – Business Continuity Plan Exercise, Audit, and Maintenance DRII Professional Practices June 1, 2012 Version 1)

‘When planning for war, I have always found plans to be useless, but planning to be invaluable.’ General Eisenhower

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